PHILADELPHIA - Buying a home is one of the most significant investments, and many resources are available to first-time homebuyers in Pennsylvania. These include down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and tax credits. Many of these programs are administered by the government, while others are privately funded. Before you set out on your search for a new home, it is essential to shop around to find the best deals.
The real estate market in Pennsylvania continues to change rapidly. In September 2022, the number of properties sold in the state declined by 11.9%. The Federal Reserve announced that it intends to raise interest rates, which could impact the real estate market. Purchasing a home has become more expensive as mortgage rates have increased, which has prompted several prospective homebuyers to put off their purchase. While home prices have decreased, it is still a competitive market, and properties move quickly.
In Pennsylvania, several down payment assistance programs are administered by the state and several privately funded programs. Regardless of which program you are interested in, each program has its own requirements and benefits. Several of these programs can be combined with other assistance programs, but you must meet the eligibility requirements to qualify.
Down payment assistance programs are available to first-time homebuyers in all Pennsylvania counties. In some counties, local housing agencies are responsible for administering the programs. In other counties, the programs are handled by the local government. You can learn more about these programs by talking to your local government or housing agency.
Several of these programs require that you complete an approved homebuyer education course. These courses can be taken online or in person with a housing counseling agency. You will also need to meet income requirements to qualify. In some cases, the income requirement is based on the area's average income, while in other cases, it is based on the household size.
You can also get a loan through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). This agency offers several mortgage loan programs for first-time homebuyers, including a PHFA grant that can be used for down payment assistance. If you are interested in applying for this program, you must first locate a lender authorized by PHFA. In most cases, you will need to put down at least $1,000 of your own money. This grant will cover up to $20,000 of your down payment. However, you will need to pay the mortgage payments to the PHFA.
The Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan is also available to first-time homebuyers. This program requires a credit score of 660 and a loan amount of $500. The Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan can also cover your closing costs. This program is also compatible with the Pennsylvania HOMEstead loan. It is a low-interest, deferred loan of up to 20% of the purchase price.
The First Front Door program offers up to $5,000 in grant funds for your down payment. FHLBank Pittsburgh administers this program. To qualify, you must be a first-time homebuyer with below 80 percent of the area median income. You will also need to complete a homebuyer education course and make a down payment of at least $1,000. This program will not require you to pay back the grant for five years, but you will have to repay the grant if you sell your home before the five-year mark.